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Since the necessary equipment for telecommuting was first invented, the
largest company I've worked for has been about 5000 employees, the
smallest fewer than 20. At all of these companies, the "company policy"
on telecommuting has been pretty much the same. The company had
requirements as to equipment and software (usually the employee's own
equipement, with some software, such as antivirus and firewall,
company-provided), but whether an employee could telecommute and to what
extent was between the employees and their direct managers. I've never
had anyone above me dictate whether or how much I could allow my people
to telecommute, as long as the work got done and my people could always
be reached when they were needed.
In practice, the most common issue that comes up with telecommuting
employees is a tendency for the employees to mistake telecommuting
(working remotely on a schedule agreed to by the company and treating
the remote location as if it was the office) with being an off-site
contractor (working with no company control over time and/or place of
work). On those occaisions when I've had to end employees'
telecommuting arrangements, it has almost always been because they
developed a habit of not being where they said they would be when they
said they would be there, or of not exercising the necessary judgement
to come into work when there was a real need for them to be there.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Heidi Colonna" <twins398 -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To sum it up, my experience has been that the younger companies and/or
smaller companies are more mature in their thought process about
telecommuting. The larger companies aren't quite there yet - in my
experience. Typically, as others have noted, the larger companies want a
business plan and meetings to determine if it's "OK" to telecommute,
which to me is a tremendous waste of time.
One last comment ...telecommuting is wonderful, but I do believe face to
face contact with you colleagues on a regular basis is important. I
voluntarily go into the office once a week for some face to face.
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